PATNA: Former Chief Minister Lalu Yadav applied for a monthly pension of Rs. 10,000 under a scheme for those jailed during the Emergency of 1975. The request has been accepted by the Bihar government, in which Mr Yadav's party RJD is a partner.
The state government decided that the two-time Chief Minister qualifies under the "JP Senani Samman" pension plan introduced in 2009 by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who, along with Lalu Yadav, are among the politicians who participated in the opposition movement led by Jayaprakash Narayan or "JP" during the Emergency and were jailed.
Lalu Yadav, then a student leader, was jailed under the draconian Maintenance of Internal Security Act or MISA, which was used to arrest several opposition activists. He later named his oldest daughter Misa.
He became eligible for Rs. 10,000 pension after an amendment to the scheme in 2015, officials in the state Home department were quoted as telling news agency Press Trust of India. Under the amended scheme, those jailed for upto six months during the JP movement will be given a pension of Rs. 5,000 a month and those jailed for a longer time qualify for Rs. 10,000.
The scheme benefits around 3,100 pensioners. Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, who is also eligible, is not taking the money, according to officials.
Lalu Yadav's RJD or Rashtriya Janata Dal co-governs Bihar along with Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) and his sons are ministers in the state. The two parties came together in 2015 to form a government after winning the Bihar polls.